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Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam Overview


The qualification exams for a number of occupations within the monetary providers business, previously often called the Sequence exams, have been streamlined into one preliminary examination known as the Securities Business Necessities Examination—or the SIE Examination. Again in 2015, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) streamlined its testing construction by consolidating the elemental information shared throughout a number of of the Sequence exams into the SIE. Candidates can then take a further “top-off” qualification examination for the precise discipline they hope to enter.

Picture by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2020

Modifications in Securities Industries Necessities Examination (SIE) {Qualifications}

The SIE had a main structural affect on the qualification exams. The SIE replaces parts of each earlier examination, together with the Series 6Series 7Series 22, Sequence 55/56 (changed by Sequence 57), Series 79Series 82Series 86/87, and Sequence 99. These exams have been shrunken, turning into qualification exams that target the specialised information wanted for every specific qualification.

High-off exams are provided for the next consultant classes:

  • Funding Firm Consultant (IR) – Sequence 6
  • Normal Securities Consultant (GS) – Sequence 7
  • DPP Consultant (DR) – Sequence 22
  • Securities Dealer (TD) – Sequence 57
  • Funding Banking Consultant (IB) – Sequence 79
  • Non-public Securities Choices Consultant (PR) – Sequence 82
  • Analysis Analyst (RS) – Sequence 86 & 87
  • Operations Skilled (OS) – Sequence 99

Total, this was clearly an effort to take away a number of the duplicated info within the exams, but it surely additionally opened the door to a way more vital change to the method of qualification, which is not having to be related to a FINRA member agency to take the SIE.

Below the previous FINRA guidelines, you usually wanted to be employed or in any other case sponsored by a FINRA member in an effort to take the exams. The SIE removes this requirement, though you continue to should be related to a FINRA member agency to take the top-off exams. Which means a person can select to start out on the trail in the direction of a FINRA qualification on their very own.

Successfully taking the SIE does not assure anybody a efficiently break into the monetary business, however it’s protected to say that passing it previous to searching for a job could provide you with an edge as a potential employer solely must sponsor the top-off examination to get you certified for a specific function.

FINRA supported the concept latest graduates and other people trying to get into the business ought to take the SIE on their very own. They’ve made it extra engaging by extending the validity of the SIE to 4 years, giving a beneficiant window for passing members to then discover a agency to sponsor the top-off exams. FINRA member corporations are in a position to see who has handed the examination by way of the Central Registration Depository (CRD).

SIE and High Off-Exams as Replacements

Of their authentic Securities and Exchange Commission filings, FINRA focused the autumn of 2016 to early 2017 for a rollout of their highest quantity exams. This proved to be a bit optimistic. There have been a number of shifts within the scheduling, one ensuing from the requests of member corporations and business associations for extra time to set their very own processes in accordance with the brand new construction. The SIE and top-off examination rollout befell on October 1, 2018 and was accompanied by the retirement of a number of low quantity exams, such because the Series 42 and Series 62.

Initially, March 2018 was focused for the implementation of the SIE and top-offs for Sequence 6, 7, and 79. October 1, 2018 grew to become the date for a whole overhaul quite than a phased-in method. Including to a number of the confusion was a part of the try to modernize; the Sequence 55 was changed by the Sequence 57, though it nonetheless appeared within the authentic discover for the SIE updates. That replace was merely a normal a part of FINRA reviewing and tweaking curriculum, quite than a part of an overhaul of any core information.

Construction of the SIE Examination

The SIE examination construction is basically based mostly on the overall information parts of the exams it changed that portion for. In January 2018, FINRA offered extra particulars on the construction. The sections and query rely are as follows:

The Make-up of the SIE Examination
Part Share

of Examination Questions
Variety of

Examination Questions
(1) Data of Capital Market 16% 12
(2) Understanding Merchandise and Their Dangers 44% 33
(3) Understanding Buying and selling, Buyer Accounts, and Prohibited Actions 31% 23
(4) Overview of Regulatory Framework 9% 7
Complete 100% 75

The 75 questions are literally 85, since there are 10 randomly distributed pre-test questions that don’t rely in the direction of the rating on the examination. Candidates have an hour and forty-five minutes to finish the whole examination. A full define of the SIE content material is at the moment obtainable on FINRA’s website.

How does the SIE have an effect on me?

In case you already handed one of many FINRA exams and are at the moment registered as a representative, you’re thought of to have handed the SIE already. In case you handed one of many exams and aren’t at the moment registered, chances are you’ll must take the SIE relying on what number of years elapse between now and your subsequent registration. And, in fact, in the event you handed the examination however your registration has lapsed, you have to to take the SIE and the brand new top-off for that qualification earlier than being reregistered. That is just about the identical because it has at all times been, besides you’ll be taking two exams as an alternative of 1. Actually, the exams are designed to take the identical whole time because the earlier variations. For instance, the SIE and Sequence 7 top-off examination take the identical period of time because the earlier Sequence 7 examination.

For member corporations, the price of the top-off exams is lower than the earlier exams as a result of the content material was shifted to the SIE. So, if a person has handed the SIE previous to becoming a member of a agency, it’s a good indication that this particular person already has the essential aptitude and wherewithal to move a top-off examination. And, in fact, the price of getting that particular person registered is diminished as a result of they paid out of pocket for the SIE. All of which can seemingly assist make a candidate extra engaging to a agency.

If I had a Sequence 7 and it lapsed, do I’ve to take the brand new SIE or am I nonetheless coated?

In case your license lapsed—assuming two years have handed because you have been final registered—it’s important to retake the Sequence 7. You must retake the SIE provided that 4 years have elapsed because you final handed it or have been final registered.

Is there an order for taking the SIE and the top-off? Ought to I take them collectively or individually?

The SIE is designed to come back first, however the SIE and its related top-off exams may also be accomplished over the identical time interval. Actually, you’ll be able to take SIE and Sequence 7 top-off on the identical day—similar to the earlier Sequence 7.

Can I grow to be a registered consultant with out a company sponsor by passing the SIE Examination?

You must take a top-off examination in an effort to grow to be a registered consultant, which you can not take with out a company sponsor.

Will the brand new SIE be more durable or simpler than the previous Sequence 7?

The general content material coated over the 2 exams—the SIE and the Sequence 7 top-off examination—might be practically an identical to the earlier Sequence 7.

How lengthy is the SIE legitimate and does it should be renewed?

The SIE is legitimate for 4 years. It must be renewed if 4 years have handed because you have been final registered.

What’s the wait time if I fail?

The wait time is 30 days for the primary and second makes an attempt, then six months in the event you fail the third try.

The Backside Line

In case you have been already sponsored to take one of many qualification exams, go for it. These modifications will not affect you in any respect. In case you count on to be sponsored sooner or later, the general content material that you must grasp gained’t change though it’s important to do it in two chunks. If, nonetheless, you aren’t at the moment sponsored or within the business, the SIE will open the door so that you can begin down the trail of a monetary profession with out having to affiliate with a member agency first. This variation provides you a alternative you did not have earlier than.



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